Alumni Blog

From The Prep to Pixar

Posted October 5th, 2015

Collin Allen, a 2003 Prep Graduate interviewed via Google Hangout, spoke to 80 Prep students interested in programming and art, explaining how what he learned at the Prep gave him the skills to make it all the way to Pixar Animation Studios.

It takes four years to make a Pixar film, from concept to completion. Colin worked on the Pixar animated movie “Inside Out” and is currently working on “The Good Dinosaur” which will be coming out this Thanksgiving. He has worked there for two years writing software for the movies.

A little about Colin’s journey: After graduating from the Prep, Colin started working at Best Buy Geek squad doing computer and iPod repairs. After about a year at Best Buy he obtained another job for an Ebay PowerSeller where he fixed broken and off-lease equipment. With both of these jobs he became adept at fixing desktops, laptops, servers, cameras and projectors, which led to an interest in software development. Colin worked for a company that designed web apps which was eventually acquired by the software company Blackboard. He worked there for three years doing android and iPhone app design as well as systems administration work. Once he had a strong understanding of the software development, on a whim he applied for a job at Pixar.

Colin says that the most important thing he learned at the Prep was “How to maintain relationships.” His time at the Prep and his employment journey also taught him the value of always pushing to learn more and broaden his skills. “Cross training with different operating systems and being able to program and develop software, makes you extremely valuable in the work force,” he notes.

We’re very proud of Colin’s achievements and look forward to seeing “The Good Dinosaur” when it comes out later this fall. Thank you, Colin, for inspiring us with the story of your journey from The Prep to Pixar!